By 90Min
October 25, 2018

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has claimed that he still wants his side to have a winning mentality, despite the loss of Lionel Messi through injury.

The Argentine sustained an arm injury against Sevilla on the weekend and is set to be sidelined until November. He watched on from the stands as the Blaugrana defeated Inter 2-0 at the Camp Nou courtesy of goals from Rafinha and Jordi Alba, and Valverde suggested that despite the side playing as a unit, the inclusion of the phenomenal Messi adds a further dimension to the team.

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As quoted by Marca, Valverde said: "We always play as a team, but when Messi is there it adds a touch of brilliance because he is extraordinary."

The Spaniard was delighted with his side's performance on the night, and despite wishing Messi a speedy recovery, indicated the side have to continue to win games in his absence.

"Today we were good with our play and our chances. We do hope he recovers as soon as possible. We miss him, although we want to win while we miss him."

Barcelona were dominant against their Italian counterparts, who were below-par, and the former Athletic Bilbao manager believed that the victory, which maintained their perfect record in this season's competition, came as a result of the Blaugrana's ability to neutralise the threat of their illustrious opposition.

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"There was a major opponent here today and we prevented them from playing, which is where the result comes from. We are content because this was an important match.


"Without Messi everyone was waiting to see what would happen and we responded well."

Rafinha deputised in Messi's absence and found the opener in the 31st minute. He was an unlikely replacement with several expecting Ousmane Dembélé to feature, but Valverde clarified there wasn't an underlying agenda.

"The fact he didn't play doesn't mean I wanted to send a message to anyone. That would be a misinterpretation. He is one more player in the squad.

"Sometimes some players play and sometimes other ones don't, so there's not much to say about that."

Barcelona face rivals Real Madrid in the El Clásico on the weekend and despite the Merengues sitting seventh in the league, the Spaniard commented on the threat posed by Julen Lopetegui's side.

"Real Madrid will be even more dangerous," he said, "Lopetegui's players will come here to try to show their strength."

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